Give your dried out liver a break from the Vegas strip and visit Valley of Fire State Park

Valley of Fire State Park

An hour (and change) away from the Las Vegas strip, Valley of Fire State Park is totally worth sacrificing AM day drinking to explore for a few hours before heading back to Fremont Street and getting trashy.

Besides a few buses of Boy Scouts, Valley of Fire felt largely like I had the place to myself. I stopped by the visitor's center, got a brochure, and drove around for an hour or two and was not disappointed. These views spoil!

You can also walk yourself around and stick your head through all of these Swiss cheese-like red rocks. I did but I was alone and the pictures are painfully awkward.

Calm down sign, this hike was only half a mile. Alternative caption: Heat warnings are extra important if you're already a stinkin' hot mess.

I just wanted a nice picture of "The Wave" rocks but it was pointed out to me that in this picture yellow part of the rock looks like pee and the rock behind me looks like dookie. LOOK AT ALL THE FUN YOU CAN HAVE IN A NATIONAL PARK KIDS.

Here is "Elephant Rock" - a rock that looks like an elephant. (Though they all do if you squint hard enough).

So scenic, imagine all of the amazing instapics you and your friends could take here during your bachelorette party. I saw all of this and more in two and a half hours!

Hoover Dam

If you're still feeling adventurous, venture an hour and twenty minutes towardish/eastish of Las Vegas and stop at the Hoover Dam. After you stop, it's a 45 minute straight shot back to downtown Vegas.

The AZ/NV state line is invisible like the other ones.

Hoover Dam.

Hot Mess Tips

  • Budget 2 hours 15 minutes for the round trip to Valley of Fire State Park from the Las Vegas strip and then spend all the time while you're there driving around and looking for neat spots. Being directionless is no problem because you'll be surrounded by beauty and many rock formations are a short hike away (half a mile or less) or you can park right by them.
  • To include the Hoover Dam, add 1 hour and 15 minutes to the itinerary for travel. There is a free one-hour Hoover Dam tour to those who plan on visiting during the day.

The Hot Mess Behind HMT

In my natural habitat.


There is a picture of me as a toddler somewhere zoned out with a chicken nugget in my mouth. My mom says she lost it but if I had to guess she's just hugely embarrassed. CLICK HERE to learn how I went from sloppy baby to the featured hot mess of the world's worst-best travel blog.

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